Kidd introduced as Bucks coach, says move 'not about power'
JUL 02, 2014 2:58p ET
MILWAUKEE -- In a press conference carrying an entirely different vibe than the one put on by the team just four days ago, the Milwaukee Bucks officially introduced Jason Kidd as their head coach Wednesday morning.
Along with Kidd, Bucks general manager John Hammond and co-owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens took questions for less than 15 minutes after opening remarks were given.
"The last four days have been great days for the Milwaukee Bucks organization," Hammond said. "I've been here six years and I've never felt the kind of excitement that is surrounding our team. People are talking about the Bucks, they want to know what is going on with our team, and that's a great thing."
In a small group session about an hour after the press conference ended, Kidd said reports of him trying to garner more power in the Nets organization were "not true," but he would not go into detail as to why then he was looking to leave Brooklyn.
"It's not about power," Kidd said. "You guys ran with that. It's not about power. As I was introduced, I'm the coach. I was a coach in Brooklyn and I'm going to be the coach here. It's not about power. It's about the guys getting better."
Both Lasry and Kidd indicated contact between the two parties started with a phone call from Kidd's agent, Jeff Schwartz, to the Bucks owners early last week. Lasry said he asked the Nets for permission to speak with Kidd last Wednesday.
Kidd said he then met with Lasry and Edens last Thursday, the same night the Bucks selected Jabari Parker with the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft.
"We were actually shocked they gave us permission," Lasry said. "We thought, 'Great. Now we have an opportunity to get Jason.' We had a great meeting and we actually thought there was no deal. They had asked for a first-round draft pick and we said we wouldn't do that."
Lasry admitted the ownership group did not bring Hammond into the loop until after the meeting with Kidd was held. Former coach Larry Drew was involved with the press conference to introduce Parker last Friday while the ball was in motion to hire Kidd.
According to Lasry, Hammond was first informed of what was going on with Kidd when reports of Milwaukee's interest in hiring the 10-time All-Star point guard hit the media late Saturday night. Lasry said Hammond then handled all of the negotiations with the Nets over compensation.
"We were asked to keep it confidential, and we did," Lasry said. "Obviously, in retrospect, it was a mistake. I think we've learned a lot in the last couple of days about process of things. I think this was our fault.
"I would tell you that it was very much newness. We've learned a lot in this process. Our view, and it hasn't changed from the beginning, that all the basketball operations goes through John. In this process we learned we made a mistake."
While he didn't directly respond when asked why he would leave Brooklyn for Milwaukee after just one season, Kidd acknowledged the criticism he has received and will continue to receive for the way the process went down.
"This was hard to do," Kidd said of his departure from Brooklyn. "But if you look at the business side, which happens a lot, not just to coaches but to players, that gets in the way. For me, I have to do what is best and this is what I think is best for me.
"As a player you are going to get criticized, as a coach you are going to be criticized even more because it is about wins and losses. For me, it's about getting better as a coach. I'm still a young coach and I still have a lot to learn about coaching."
Kidd confirmed assistant coaches Eric Hughes and Sean Sweeney will follow him to Milwaukee, while he said he has reached out to John Welch and Joe Prunty to gauge their interest in coming to the Bucks. All four coaches were on Kidd's staff last season in Brooklyn.
Far different than the veteran team he had with the Nets last season, Kidd will inherit a very young roster in Milwaukee. The Bucks will have three 19-year-old players on the roster next season, while other key pieces are inexperienced.
"There are going to be some growing pains, but they can always be looked at as a learning experience and that we get better each time we take the floor," Kidd said. "That's what makes this opportunity very exciting, and I'm looking to see it through to the end."
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